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Review: CHOCOLATE (2008) Thai Martial Arts Film

Review DVD by Joey Paur

chocolate

Last night I finally got a chance to watch the 2008 Thai martial arts film, Chocolate, which you can watch instantly on Netflix now if you got it. I’ve wanted to see this movie since I first saw the trailer for it last year, but I never got a chance to see it due to its limited theatrical release here in the states.

This film was a great action-packed martial arts film with a solid heart felt story and mad fight choreography skills! The movie was directed by Prachya Pinkaew, and the fight choreography was done by Panna Rittikrai. These are the same two guy who brought us Ong-Bak. The film stars Yanin “Jeeja” Vismistananda , in her debut film performance, and holy crap, has she got some incredible skills!

The film follows a young autistic girl named Zen who has developed some pretty bad ass martial arts skills. She develops these fighting skills by watching television and also watch the guys next to where she lives practicing Muay Thai. We first get a glimpse at Zen’s uncanny reflexes when she is able to catch things being thrown at her without even looking at them.

Zen is the daughter of Zin, the Thai wife of Yakuza boss Masashi.

Zin was previously the girlfriend of Thai gangster No. 8, who was jealous of her relationship with rival gangster Masashi. After Zin chose Masashi, he shoots his own toe off and forbids Zin from ever seeing him again. Zin asks Masashi to go back to Japan as they would not be able to be together safely. So he reluctantly leaves.

After he leaves Zin finds that she is pregnant, so she moves away from No. 8. She eventually has a daughter that she names Zen. A few years down the road Zin discovers that Zen is Autistic and will need special care. Zin decides one day to tell Masashi about his daughter by writing him a letter. No. 8 finds out that Zin is in contact with Masashi and gets pissed off. He pays Zin a visit, and being the prick that he is cuts off one of Zin's toes, to remind her she is forbidden from seeing Masashi.

This forces Zin to move again. She gets a house shared by a Muay Thai kickboxing school. Zen becomes infatuated with martial arts and begins to self-teach herself by mimicking the moves she sees as well as what she watches on television. One day when coming home from work Zin sees a poor little boy being picked on in the streets named Moom. Feeling sorry for the poor kid she takes him in.

Zin then falls ill with cancer, and does not have the money to pay for treatments. Zen and Moom attempt to make money to pay for these treatments by having people throw balls at her as a street performer. Unfortunately they are not able to earn enough to keep up with the treatments. Moom eventually comes across a list of debtors in an old notebook that was stashed away, from the days when Zin was a high-interest moneylender under No. 8. In order to get money to pay for her mother's cancer treatment, Zen and Moom decide to collect on the debts that Zin is owed, which leads to confrontations with various criminal gangs and, eventually, No. 8.

It is these confrontations that are mind meltingly great! Watching this girl fight in the film is breathtaking. It is some pretty hard core action and the fight sequences are very fun and inventive. I also have to point out that no stunt doubles and very little CG and wire work were used in this film. If you haven’t seen this movie I strongly suggest you check it out it is definitely worth your time.

Check out the 2 trailers below which shows you the awesomeness of which I speak.

One trailer is in English the other is in Thai. The Thai trailer shows more footage of people really getting hurt.



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